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Research Associate, Delivery System Reform Program - Vulnerable Populations - The Commonwealth Fund

Notice!This listing has expired and should not be applied for.
Location: Washington, DC
Full-time position
Closing Date: March 31, 2017
Job #11180
Posted: February 28, 2017


The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation that aims to promote a high performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society’s most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, minority Americans, young children, and elderly adults. The Fund carries out this mandate by supporting independent research on health care issues and making grants to improve health care practice and policy. An international program in health policy is designed to stimulate innovative policies and practices in the United States and other industrialized countries. The Fund has an endowment of $750 million, and an annual budget of $35 million.


The Commonwealth Fund’s Health Care Delivery System program aims to improve outcomes and lower the overall costs of care for two populations: high-need, high-cost patients and vulnerable populations. To achieve a high-performance health system for this second group—defined as low-income individuals, including but not limited to, racial and ethnic minorities, the uninsured and undocumented immigrants—it is critical that the providers that serve them have the support necessary to deliver equitable, high-quality, comprehensive, and affordable patient care. The vulnerable populations program seeks to achieve a high performance health system where people can obtain quality, equitable, and affordable care that meets their physical, behavioral, and nonmedical health needs. Strategies for pursuing this goal include:

  • Building an evidence base to increase understanding of vulnerable populations’ needs and the health system’s capacity to serve them.
  • Assessing and propagating promising models and strategies to improve care for low-income individuals.
  • Investigating payment and policy reforms that support delivery system reform for vulnerable populations.
  • Training physician leaders committed to improving health care for minority, low-income, and other vulnerable populations through the Commonwealth Fund Mongan Fellowship in Minority Health Policy.


Reporting to the Assistant Vice President, Delivery System Reform (DSR) in the Fund’s Washington, DC Office, the Research Associate is an important part of a team supporting the Delivery System Reform Program. The primary responsibility of the Research Associate is to research and track health care policy developments relevant to the delivery of care for low-income, minority, and other vulnerable populations—in particular related to Medicaid and safety net providers—and provide analytic support for the Vulnerable Populations  portfolio of the DSR program. The Research Associate will participate as part of Fund staff research teams in writing reports, issue briefs, blogs, and journal articles to support the capacity of the Delivery System Reform Program to be a resource for policymakers, providers, academics, and journalists.

Research and Analysis (70%)

  • Provides research, data analysis and writing assistance. Provides background research including literature reviews and Internet searches. Monitors journals, working papers, financial reports, surveys, and other information relevant to priorities of the Vulnerable Populations portfolio. Obtains and organizes data from various national/state data surveillance systems, published sources, online databases, and commissioned data runs. Compile and analyze data; create report exhibits and presentations; draft and edit briefs, reports, and publications.
  • Drafts and assists with revisions to Fund reports, issue/data briefs, and blog posts; creates graphics to pair with text; proofreads and checks for data accuracy. May serve as lead author or co-author on Fund publications.
  • Provides research support in the analysis of data from Fund-supported surveys. Assists in, statistical analyses (using Excel, STATA, SAS, or equivalent statistical software), tables and chart preparation, report writing, and survey development as needed.
  • Prepare charts and tables for public presentations and presenting findings to professional and policy audiences. May also be asked to prepare presentations for other members of senior management.
  • Assure high quality, policy relevant Fund publications based on grantee and staff work. Critique grantee and staff papers submitted for Fund publication; participate in the final review; prepare executive summaries and issue briefs based on grantee work.
  • Participate in Fund supported health policy work beyond the DSR program as needed.

Grants Management (15%)

  • Assists in the development of grant proposals and budgets and in the preparation of project summaries for Fund board meetings which occur three times a year. This involves communicating with potential grantees, conducting background research on the proposal topics, compiling and distributing proposal review materials to the executive management team and assisting in internal reviews of proposals.
  • Corresponds with current and prospective grantees, consultants, and experts reviewing proposed projects; assembles and provides materials on Fund program, projects, and other activities as requested by grantees and other individuals.
  • Manages all aspects of the grant process: preparation of summaries and materials to support Board-level Grants and Small Grants, payment and review schedules, and letters of agreement; tracking of program and grantee products, including papers and conferences, and scheduling grant payments accordingly; helps plan meetings, forums or conferences related to grantee work, and helps to maintain overall Fund-grantee relationships. Responsible for streamlining grant tracking methods and communication between the program and grantees to ensure timeliness of reports and products.

General Administrative Support (15%)

  • The AVP and her team are supported by a part-time program associate. The RA provides back-up administrative support as needed for the Assistant Vice President and the DSR program which can include: calendaring, telephone, travel, meetings, expense reports, correspondence, and distribution of program work. Calendaring can include arranging appointments and scheduling meetings as needed, including reserving meeting rooms and arranging for food, beverage, and audiovisual needs.
  • Prepares materials, slides, and charts for internal meetings, including project briefing meetings, and proposal review meetings.
  • Prepares materials, slides, and charts for external meetings and presentations on behalf of the Assistant Vice President. This involves research and assembling materials and detailed information about projects in the program areas
  • Acts as a liaison with Communications to ensure the dissemination of grant products, including: coordinating the review of draft grantee publications by Fund staff and the promotion of grantee-published articles; drafting language for the Fund website that publicizes grantee work; developing web-based grant products for placement or promotion on the Fund website; reviewing and providing program updates to the Fund website as needed; coordinating with grantees and Communications staff to produce webinars, podcasts, and other multimedia to promote grantee work.

The Fund’s philosophy on successful performance

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